CD 1 - Chimes And Rings:
01) Lady You're A Strange Girl
02) Kiss Goodbye
03) Call Of The Wild
04) Lost To Me
05) Dangerous Lady
06) Working Man
07) Giving It All Away
08) Ice And Fire
09) Wonder Where We Go
10) Dreams Of Yesterday
11) Sell My Soul
12) Back To Dreams
13) I Wait For You
14) Walking Away From Paradise
15) Playing Jesus To Her Judas
16) Something's Going On
17) The Miracle Belongs To You
CD 2 - Nudity:
01) Feels Like Up To Me
02) Prize Of Years
03) Still Waiting
04) Lover Boy At Heart
05) The Wonder Of It All
06) Devil In Me
07) A Little More Time
08) What's It All About?
09) Thunder On The Wing
10) Shake It Up
11) Love To Win
13) If Love Were Gold
14) I Want You
15) Kiss It Off
16) Angel Like You
17) Crying All Night
18) Only Love Can Tell
CD 3 - Heartbreakland:
01) You Know How To Hurt
03) You Make Me Cry
04) Mess Around
09) Lucky Star
10) Heartbeat Thru The Telephone
11) One Day At A Time
12) Tip The Wink
13) Shadow Haunting Me
15) Love's Immortal Shining Angel
CD 4 - Details:
01) Maybe It's The Future
03) Wasted Lives
04) The Best Of You
05) Stay With Me
06) Love And A Bucket Full Of Holes
07) Prisoner Of Love
08) Don't Wait
09) Man On Fire
11) The World To Me
12) Strong Enough
13) Everything Permitted
14) Aeroplane Wings
15) One For You
16) Let It All Pass You By
Demonstrations of Affection is a 4CD box set issued on Cocteau Records. It was also released on cassette. Both versions came with a free T-Shirt alongside the 4 albums of new material. This was the final official release by Cocteau Records.
The recordings that make up Demonstrations of Affection were commenced at The Echo Observatory in 1988, but span a very difficult period of time for the artist, who was going through separation, leading ultimately to divorce. This resulted in him moving to a new home in 1989, rechristening his domestic recording facility Studio Rose Croix in the process, where the recordings were completed.
The set had just one pressing and has been out of print since 1990. Note that each CD forming the set was issued separately, but again went out of print with the demise of Cocteau Records.
The album is currently out of print, but may reappear as a digital download via Bandcamp at some point.
IF YOU LIKED THIS ALBUM, YOU'LL PROBABLY ENJOY:
Luminous, My Secret Studio, Return to Tomorrow, Blue Moons and Laughing Guitars, Chameleon,
Simplex, Getting the Holy Ghost Across, Living for the Spangled Moment, Practically Wired
"It's a fairly straight, song-oriented album with pop overtones rather than an experimental/abstract instrumental affair. Of course many of the songs dealt with an uncomfortable time in my life when I was troubled by marriage breakdown and management/financial problems...I guess the music was, in some instances, a cathartic response to this and could be interpreted as a involuntary expression of personal angst. But, it has what I'd consider some nice songs on it, emotional and direct."
"I'd say that there are lots of songs in the set that work independently of the situations that inspired their writing. Perhaps if you didn't know the context they would be little more than fairly straight-ahead pop songs...as most pop songs deal with love or loss and the complications of relationships.
There are a handful of songs in the set that I think are very good, particularly when I think back to the basic recording equipment I had at the time. But a lot of it I find marginally embarrassing as my life has long since moved on and, as always happens with these things, you look back and wonder what all the fuss was about and why you couldn't see the bigger picture.
It doesn't take long to realise that these sort of changes are always going to be for the better. My life is infinitely more fulfilled and happy now that it ever was all those years ago. So, the album, if it documents anything at all, is a demonstration, (not so much of affection), but of the human inability to see beyond the moment to a much brighter tomorrow."
"The songs - they are excellent, belonging to a phase of Bill's work that works for me completely. They are also unusually direct and heartfelt and so seem to be more immediately memorable than those from albums just before or after the set was released. Some very simple catchy melodies are included as well. I can hum most of them from memory and they turn up in my head unbidden surprisingly often."
"I've just got to say that DOA is my favourite of all the 'box sets'. Features some of Bill's best songs I reckon."
"The recordings do jump off the speakers, with saxophones and massive drum arrangements: much more ambitious stuff than I remember."
"I have to plug for Chimes and Rings. Wonderful tunes, perfect synth, breathtaking moments of varied guitar. Pop elements with subversive jazz sensibility. After dozens of plays, the whole CD still sounds great, whether at close listening or in the background, on the stereo rig or in the car."
"I really love the Demonstrations of Affection material."
"I have never thought of any of your songs as demos Bill....I prefer the 'sketches' term myself, the content has always been of more importance to me than the gear or place it was recorded."
"Been away from this set for far too long. Some really terrific tunes here."
"I know that this was recorded at an exceedingly tumultuous and stressful time in Bill's life, and I have always found it remarkable how gifted musicians and composers can produce such beauty out of such dark circumstances.
When I have trouble and stress in my life my work tends to suffer, not thrive."
"At the time I found it an incredibly 'stylish' and typically Nelsonesque thing. I mean, other people simply write one or two songs to cope with losing a lover and/or trying to get her back, Bill made a set of four albums! And I found the idea of 'spontaneous' music-making quite interesting, and it's something that Bill continued to do with later albums, of course...Those who dismiss Demonstrations should listen again to tracks like "Wondering", "Let it All Pass You By", "Love's Immortal Shining Angel", "Giving it All Away" or "Strong Enough". And the list can easily be continued. As always with Bill, each of these discs has some true gems."
"The album that affects me most on an emotional level has always been Demonstrations of Affection. The songs and music seem to me the most heart-felt of all Bill's works, covering love, pain, anger, hurt... Now, I've never gone through a divorce, but at the time of release of that album my wife and I had just suffered a tragic loss, and many of the feelings in that work were very similar to feelings I was experiencing (for very different reasons). It helped me to be able to feel some form of emotional connection through the music."
"There's a temptation to view Demonstrations of Affection like several of the other box sets in Bill Nelson's long career (Trial by Intimacy, the My Secret Studio sets, Noise Candy) - as a collection of like-minded songs. Sketchbooks collected from a period of several years. But Demonstrations is unique in this regard. It's really more like a diary - one that chronicles a particularly difficult and emotional period of the artist's life.
Coming through the dissolution of his marriage, moving house, management problems, and financial strain, some might be tempted to lay open a vein. But instead, Bill Nelson lays open his soul. The music on this set seems to explode from his chest as if it cannot be contained. Where Chances Encounters in the Garden of Lights features music quickly bourne from a state of spiritual meditation, these songs sound like compositions freed from spontaneous combustion.
It a wild ride thru heartache, anger, resentment, bewilderment, passion, lust, elation, resignation, nostalgia, and finally - hope.
Yet, despite having a catharsis as catalyst, these are some of the most melody-driven pop songs of Bill's long career. Although one can point out that they betray their origin as demonstration recordings, and that you can hear the influence of the 80's loud and clear, Bill wrote some cracking good pop songs here. In fact, many of the best songs from Demonstrations were not included on What Now, What Next? and Practice of Everyday Life box sets."